Good News Series – Curtis Thompson, Managing Director at Turner Lovell Back to previous

Good News Series – Curtis Thompson, Managing Director at Turner Lovell

Author: Interviewed by Charlotte Wiseman


In this month’s edition of the Good News Series, Charlotte interviews Curtis Thompson, Managing Director of Turner Lovell, an executive search and recruitment company in the renewable energy industry.

The Good News Series aims to inspire and promote well-being throughout the City of London and further afield, brought to you in collaboration between Aldgate Connect BID and Charlotte Wiseman Leadership & Wellbeing Consultants.

Find out more about Curtis’ work at Turner Lovell, En’Powered – his proudest initiative aimed at empowering women in the industry, and his top three tips for implementing meaningful initiatives.

How would you describe Aldgate in three words?

What do you love about working at Turner Lovell?
There are many reasons I love working at Turner Lovell, my team plays a huge part in this. They are ambitious, have big personalities and are extremely smart. Due to the nature of the industry we are in, renewable energy, our customers are doing their bit to save the planet, and this makes the work we do very special and has a real purpose. I’ve also always wanted to work for myself, so being able to do this is something I’m grateful for. Of course, I’m still serving people, which is the way it should be if you’re the right kind of leader. I’m serving my customers, the team and other stakeholders but we all have aligned goals. 

Please tell us about the one company initiative that you are most proud of?
Recently, we started an initiative called ‘En’Powered’ aimed at empowering women. From my experience of being a head-hunter for over 20 years, I have seen multiple women who would be great candidates for a certain role, but this confidence isn’t being portrayed throughout the recruitment process. So, this initiative has the goal of equipping women with the tools to break through any barriers that might exist and aim high for the job roles, the pay rises and promotions that they deserve!

‘En’Powered’ is free to join for women within the energy, engineering and construction sector and is a space for like-minded people to share their best practices, both on a professional and well-being level, in order to progress in their careers.

So far we have held two international sessions, hosted by Charlotte Wiseman, and we have received great feedback, and we’re so excited to host more in the future! It’s great to be able to bring in external expertise to our network, not just our internal expertise. It helps people realise they are not alone in their experiences and gain insight into practical steps to progress in their career. 

Please can you explain more about why this initiative is so meaningful for you?
With five sisters, three daughters and more aunties than I can count, I hear, see, and feel the challenges women face. On top of this, although I was born in the UK, I can be seen as a minority based on my skin colour or class background, so I understand the barriers that are there. We also find that our customers are also looking for more diverse candidate shortlists, initiatives like this help us better serve our customers. 

It sounds like you are really trying to move the needle to create more equity in a very male-dominated industry. What kind of challenges have you faced in doing that, and how have you overcome these?
Working within a billion-dollar industry means that although our customers may want diverse shortlists, they may not be willing to compromise on certain aspects of the job description in order to reach a wider pool of candidates. In a male-dominated industry, if you aren’t willing to compromise on job requirements, you are likely to end up choosing from a male-dominated pool of candidates. However, if you’re able to be flexible, your options will widen. The energy industry started years ago before there were many female engineers, before changes within education and the workplace, so based on this, the leaders within the energy sector are predominantly men. It’s about getting the message across – “Yes he’s great, but she’s also great, even if she may have a few years less experience.” 

Initiatives such as ‘En’Powered’ help us to overcome such problems by broadening our network, but also by being able to better prepare and train our female candidates. We want to be able to give them the skills to best present themselves so that when they get to the interview stage, they are showing the best version of themselves. Another way that we reach more female candidates is through utilising our female head-hunters, we have found that this has a better response rate!

Now you have En’Powered up and running, what plans do you have for the future?
Expansion is our plan! We want to grow the ‘En’Powered’ initiative by building the number of members in our core markets (UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Germany). I’m also working closely with my colleagues, Charlotte Wiseman and Essi Virtanen to host in-person groups, to provide more in-depth and more practical sessions to further boost the confidence of female candidates. Quite excitingly, we also have plans to work with female leaders within the industry to share their success stories on how they got to the top and how they are staying there, showing our community that it is possible. 

What three tips would you give to businesses looking to implement something similar in their business? 

  1. It’s got to come from the top. Leadership need to be aligned on the mission. You need to get buy-in from the leadership team and the people around it. It needs to be more than a pet project for it to have real momentum! I have my team members who are driving the mission, but I’m also driving them to continue. 
  2. It has to have purpose and be sustainable. If it’s not sustainable, you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Quick wins are great, but you need to be committed to long-term success.
  3. Aim for excellence. We have a philosophy here “If it’s perfect, it’s taken too long”. We want to go out to market quickly, but we want to do it right. So, we start with small manageable chunks and don’t try to conquer the world. Execute it excellently so that you’re providing value. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Aldgate is a fantastic place! You can’t walk around the block without seeing people from different cultures, genders and levels of careers. We have such an opportunity in Aldgate to take our natural population and mirror that within the workplace. It would be such a shame if our workplaces didn’t look like the community around us, not just within the businesses but within our leadership teams too.


We hope you found this edition of Good News Series inspiring!

You can learn more about En’Powered’ here. You can also apply to join or get in touch with Curtis via LinkedIn.

Want to be featured on the Good News Series? Get in touch with BID Director, Zoe Barwick by LinkedIn or by email.


About Curtis Thompson:
Curtis Thompson is the Managing Director of Turner Lovell and has been for over 14 years. His career in recruitment has spanned over 22 years across a variety of industries, with his specialism now being within the renewable energy industry. 

About Turner Lovell:
Turner Lovell recruits experienced professionals within the renewable energy sector. With a proven track record sourcing for engineering, consultancy, civil construction, high voltage, offshore wind and oil & gas development projects. Working across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and USA. In addition to head-hunting and recruitment, they provide talent consultancy services to the energy sector which includes talent pipelines. Turner Lovell has a qualitative approach with the aim to deliver candidates within agreed timelines and requirements and work with candidates to match both technical and career ambitions. 

About Aldgate Connect BID:
Aldgate Connect is a Business Improvement District (BID) set up in April 2020, raising £3.9 million over 5 years being invested back into the local area. With a vast array of cultures, businesses and places to enjoy, it makes this area one of the most diverse and exciting places to be, work, visit and live. Together with the local authority partners, (City of London Corporation and London Borough of Tower Hamlets) and other key stakeholders, the BID works with the businesses and community to enhance it as a destination for all. Inspiration and inclusivity are at the heart of the BID’s ambitions – working on programmes and projects that make it a more appealing, welcoming, stronger and safer area.

About Charlotte Wiseman Leadership & Wellbeing Consultants:
An international consultancy that supports companies to apply positive psychology in the workplace helping people to think, feel and perform their best, and businesses to improve engagement, performance and retention. Drawing on over 35 years of empirical research, global experience and a unique methodology, their work focuses on two main areas; leadership development & employee wellbeing so everyone can optimise their mental fitness, enjoying better results and greater workplace satisfaction.